How observant are...

you? other people? both you and other people? Why does it matter? Lesson Guide

This activity demonstrates our ability to remember details accurately. Testimony about personal experiences is frequently used during an investigation, and can even make or break a case. How accurately do people remember what they have seen? What factors may play a role in what we can remember and describe about something we have witnessed? Consider these questions as you do the following activity.


  1. Observe the picture for exactly 30 seconds. Look at everything you think might be important.
  2. After 30 seconds, answer the questions on the next page on a sheet of paper. (Do not read the questions before you look at the picture!)
  3. How observant were you? Compare your answers to the picture.

Questions About the Picture

Additional Challenge:

Try this activity with another picture. This time, put the picture away overnight and try to remember what you saw in the picture.

Go on to the next Observation Activity.

Helpful Resources

Detective Science, by Jim Wiese. ©1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-11980-6.